As if a meeting between Daytona Beach Indigo Lakes residents and planning consultant Jim Hall wasn’t contentious enough over redeveloping the golf course, major glitches during the Nov. 16 presentation didn’t help matters.
One thing for sure, the residents want to keep the golf course
“Many of the people bought their homes because of the lovely golf course,” said Sharon Tornatore, who came to meeting wearing an original Indigo Lakes Country Club sweater. “Rather than developing apartments on that property, this developer could flip it and it could be a beautiful golf course sometime again.”
The neighborhood meeting was at the Holiday Inn at 137 Automall Circle in Daytona Beach. The room initially set up for 50 people ended up beyond capacity with standing room only and extra chairs needing to be brought in.
The microphone available for the presentation wasn’t working so both presenters and residents had to speak loudly/shout at times to be heard. And only one hour total was allowed for the combined presentation and resident questions.
Attorney Chris Roper from the Akerman law firm served as primary presenter. Despite constant interruptions from attendees, he was able to present a slideshow and describe proposed plans for the now defunct golf course.
The property owner is listed as Indigo Lakes Golf Club LP. The proposal is to put 252 single-family houses on the property, 188 townhouses, build a 120-bed assisted living facility, and use 6,000 square feet for commercial purposes, 100,000 square feet for office space and 130,000 square feet for light industry.
Out of the dozens who attended, only three or four individuals agreed such development should occur. By far residents would prefer the golf course return, even if it is only nine holes. Some residents were willing to consider more upscale residential homes as a possibility along with green space, but not the other proposed projects. Residents voiced concern about the potential of increased traffic, water availability, more crime, flooding and a reduction of property values among other things. Lawsuits being filed were mentioned as a possible way to stop the proposed development.
City Commissioner Stacy Cantu, whose zone includes Indigo Lakes, was at the meeting and passed out questionnaires for residents to fill out. The questionnaire simply asked “yea” or “nay” for the redevelopment, and the reason for the answer. She was going to tabulate results and take her findings to the mayor and fellow commissioners.
Ms. Cantu stated after the meeting the property was acquired as a golf course and numerous steps, including commission approval, would be needed to alter the zoning to accommodate the proposed project.
Ms. Tornatore's sister bought one of the first models in the development in about 1979. “I inherited the house about 10 years ago. I’m a full-time resident there. I’ve seen it evolve to the golf course fading and then being purchased as a bar and everything. I’ve lived there long enough to see the development there at Tanger, and I would say on a day-to-day basis our biggest problem at Indigo has been the apartment dwellers at Indigo Plantation Apartments at the end. They don’t have the same standard of living if you will that the full-time residents, all of these homeowners have.
“We would prefer a golf course,” she said. “Second to that, we would rather have beautiful homes being developed on that property. We’re afraid (apartments or condominiums) are going to devalue our homes.”
Judy Van Vooren also is an Indigo Lakes resident, having lived there more than 20 years. The former real estate broker feels property in the area is already being overbuilt.
“This bubble in the Daytona Beach real estate market is going to pop,” Ms. Van Vooren said. “My other serious concern is Indigo is already in a flood district. It’s only going to get worse by taking away all of that golf course land. You can tell (this owner) bought it as an investment with no intent to keep it up. I think (the whole planned development) is horrible.”
Ms. Van Vooren would like to see a par three golf course there, she said.